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Recent Trusts and Estates Articles

Avoid email phishing scams 

How to recognize and avoid email phishing scams.

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Categories: Income Tax; Personal

Taxpayers who donate to charity should check out these resources 

Donating to a charity not only supports your charitable organization, but can also benefit you through a tax deduction. However, not all donations are eligible for deductions.

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Categories: Income Tax; Personal

IRS confirms “clawback” will not apply to gifts made under the increased estate and gift tax exemption 

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service recently confirmed that gifts made under the increased gift and estate tax exclusion amounts in effect from 2018 to 2025 will not be adversely impacted when the exclusion amount is scheduled to drop to pre-2018 levels on January 1, 2026.

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Categories: Estate & Gift Planning; Estate Tax & Administration; Trusts, Fiduciaries & Wealth Management

2020 contribution limits for 401(k) and IRAs 

The IRS increased the contribution limit amounts for some retirement accounts for 2020. Find out if where you can make additional tax-free contributions for your retirement.

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Categories: Income Tax; Personal; Trusts, Fiduciaries & Wealth Management

Advanced care planning can’t start too soon 

Baby boomers are entering retirement. Most boomers are unprepared for the probability they will need long-term care.

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Categories: Estate & Gift Planning; Domestic; Trusts, Fiduciaries & Wealth Management

Power of attorney: A powerful estate planning tool 

A power of attorney can save your family time and money (and headache) if you later become unable to make financial decisions on your own. If you can contemplate any scenario in which someone might need to act on your behalf related to your finances, you should execute a power of attorney now (while you still can).

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Categories: Estate & Gift Planning; Domestic; Income Tax; Personal; Trusts, Fiduciaries & Wealth Management

2020 Estate, Gift and GST tax exemptions announced by IRS 

The IRS released the 2020 Estate, Gift and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax lifetime exemption amount. Find out what you can transfer tax-free to family and friends.

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Categories: Estate & Gift Planning; Estate Tax & Administration

What to do with your vacation home 

How to hold title and structure ownership of your family’s vacation home to protect the property and help ensure family harmony

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Categories: Estate & Gift Planning; Domestic

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day: A safe medication disposal option 

Pharmaceutical companies aren’t the only ones responsible for the safe disposal of prescription drugs. You may have the opportunity to recycle your unused medicine with charitable clinics, hospitals, or certain agencies, but if not, make sure that you carefully dispose your unwanted or unused medicine to prevent accidental ingestion or harm to others.

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Categories: Estate Tax & Administration

Help your loved ones by pre-planning your funeral 

A little pre-planning for your funeral allows you to make the decisions about your disposition and funeral, alleviating the need for your loved ones to make these difficult decisions while also dealing with their emotions surrounding losing you.

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Categories: Estate & Gift Planning; Domestic

Time to check up on your estate plan 

Time for a Checkup (of your estate plan)!

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Categories: Estate & Gift Planning

What happens to uncashed checks at death? 

While likely not the same magnitude as were found in Aretha Franklin’s name, there are often uncashed checks found in a decedent’s name after death. How long the checks have been outstanding and the payee(s) listed on the check make a difference on the collection procedure.

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Categories: Estate Tax & Administration

The importance of choosing the “right” guardian for your minor children 

When creating an estate plan, the primary emphasis is typically on the disposition of assets and the related tax concerns; however, one of the most crucial planning decisions you can make is choosing who will serve as guardian of your minor children. The failure to designate a guardian in your estate plan will consequently put the lives of your minor children in the hands of the impersonal court system.

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Categories: Estate & Gift Planning; Domestic

IRS sends letters to holders of cryptocurrency accounts — educational or enforcement? 

In July, the IRS announced that it would be sending letters to taxpayers with one or more cryptocurrency accounts. The letters, which have now been sent, though seemingly educational, may be part of a greater enforcement effort surrounding these types of accounts.

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Categories: Income Tax; Personal; Fiduciary

Federal tax credit for elderly dependent care 

If you have elderly parents and pay for their care while you work, you may be eligible for a federal tax credit!

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Categories: Income Tax; Personal

Incapacity: A good reason to fund your trust and name a power of attorney and health care proxy 

With proper planning, you can avoid additional financial costs and stress on your loved ones if you become incapacitated.

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Categories: Estate & Gift Planning; Domestic

2020 Health Savings Account (HSA) contribution limits 

The IRS recently announced an increase in the HSA contribution limits for 2020.

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Categories: Income Tax; Personal

Traditional IRA beneficiary designations and implications 

There are advantages and disadvantages of naming certain beneficiaries on your Individual Retirement Account (“IRA”), with each option resulting in different tax implications. Knowing your options and consulting with your legal counsel can assist you in the process and can potentially save the beneficiary substantial amounts of money.

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Categories: Estate & Gift Planning

What is a distributee and what do they mean for your estate plan? 

Do you understand how distributees play a role in your estate plan?

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Categories: Estate & Gift Planning; Domestic; Estate Tax & Administration

Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers expiring December 31, 2019 

ITINs, which do expire, are used by persons who are required to make U.S. tax filings and payments but are not eligible for Social Security Numbers. The IRS just issued information on ITINs which are expired or will expire on December 31, 2019.

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Categories: Income Tax; Personal

Why use a Charitable Lead Trust (CLT)? 

Use of a Charitable Lead Trust (CLT) can accomplish multiple goals of income, gift and estate tax savings while providing benefit to charity as well as family members.

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Categories: Estate & Gift Planning; Domestic

Market Pulse: May 2019 Economic Highlights 

Economic and market highlights from the NP Investment Team for May 2019.

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Categories: Trusts, Fiduciaries & Wealth Management

What estate planning attorneys “need to know” about family dynamics 

When Tom Petty died at the age of 66 from an accidental overdose, he had been considered a success story in the realm of celebrity estate planning as he had a full plan in place at his death. Recent litigation, however, is calling into question how successful his planning was when it comes to family dynamics.

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Categories: Estate & Gift Planning; Domestic; Estate Tax & Administration

Charitable giving 

There are numerous ways you can choose to benefit a charity. As you determine what charity you would like to benefit, here are a few options on how to achieve your charitable giving goals.

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Categories: Estate & Gift Planning; Domestic; Trusts, Fiduciaries & Wealth Management

Non-spouse IRA beneficiaries: how to avoid common mistakes 

The rationale behind establishing an IRA may be quite simple; however, the rules for inheriting and distributing the IRA benefits upon the owner’s death are anything but. Therefore, understanding the rules governing IRA inheritances, for an IRA owner as well as the named beneficiary, is critical to avoid any unintended consequences, including paying higher taxes or forfeiting asset growth.

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Categories: Estate & Gift Planning; Domestic

Market Pulse: April 2019 Economic Highlights 

Economic and market highlights from the NP Investment Team for April 2019.

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Categories: Trusts, Fiduciaries & Wealth Management

IRS has developed a strategy to modernize IRS information technology systems and build critical infrastructure for the future 

IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig says that the integrity of our nation’s tax system depends on modernizing IRS operations and the support of technical pieces.

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Categories: Income Tax; Personal; Fiduciary

What happens to your season tickets when you die? 

When season sports tickets are purchased, holders excitedly plan for the upcoming games and likely do not think about what will happen to their tickets at their demise. A little planning now can save heartache and avoid disputes among the holder’s loved ones.

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Categories: Estate & Gift Planning

Estate planners’ thoughts on their own estate plans 

As estate planners, we ask our clients a lot of questions and answer a lot of questions to help craft an estate plan that meets the needs of the client’s family and situation. We each have our own families and our own situations that need careful thought as well. Here are some of the thoughts that we have considered as we have created our own estate plans.

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Categories: Estate & Gift Planning; Domestic

Joint ownership in real property — What happens at death? 

If you own real property with another person, do you know what will happen if one of you dies?

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Categories: Estate & Gift Planning; Domestic; Estate Tax & Administration

Unclaimed funds — What are they and how do I collect? 

How do I collect any unclaimed funds in my name that may have been turned over to my state?

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Categories: Trusts, Fiduciaries & Wealth Management; Estate & Gift Planning; Estate Tax & Administration

Retirement saving strategies by age 

Saving for retirement is smart, and saving for retirement with specific tactics at specific ages is smarter.

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Categories: Trusts, Fiduciaries & Wealth Management

Planning for pets during disability 

Pet owners should consider planning for the care of their pets during any time when they are not able to care for the pets themselves.

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Categories: Estate & Gift Planning

Tax planning related to transfer of ownership of closely held family business 

There are several issues one must consider when transferring a closely held business to the next generation.

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Categories: Estate & Gift Planning

The importance of elective share statutes in “I love you not” wills 

Some married individuals do not wish to provide for a surviving spouse under their estate plans. A recent Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision underscores the importance of states’ elective share statutes when individuals do not wish to execute “I love you” wills in favor of a surviving spouse.

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Categories: Estate & Gift Planning; Domestic; Estate Tax & Administration

The importance of premarital agreements in modern society 

Premarital agreements—customarily associated with celebrities and the super wealthy—are not only for the rich and famous but also can provide numerous benefits to anyone with personal assets, liabilities, property or children from a previous relationship.

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Categories: Estate & Gift Planning

Backup withholding — who does it impact and why 

Ever wondered what “are you subject to backup withholding” means when you see it on account applications?

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Categories: Income Tax; Personal

Roth 401(k) vs. After-Tax 401(k) 

While a Roth 401(k) and after-tax 401(k) involve making contributions using after-tax dollars, the two differ in a few key ways.

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Categories: Income Tax; Personal

When should a taxpayer make estimated tax payments throughout the year? 

Making estimated tax payments throughout the year can prevent an unexpected year-end tax bill and save you potential underpayment penalties.

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Categories:

What can a taxpayer do when unable to pay the taxes due to the IRS by the original due date? 

Your income tax return is ready to go. Your cash flow, unfortunately, is not as ready.

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Categories: Income Tax; Personal

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act increases the “kiddie tax” rates 

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act increased the “kiddie tax” rates for a child’s unearned income.

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Categories: Income Tax; Personal

Market Pulse: January 2019 Economic Highlights  

Economic and market highlights from the NP Investment Team for January 2019.

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Categories: Trusts, Fiduciaries & Wealth Management

IRS announces limited relief for 2018 underpayment penalties 

The IRS has announced limited relief for underpayment of estimated income tax due for the year 2018.

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Categories: Income Tax; Personal

Income tax treatment of scholarships 

Scholarships are free, no-strings-attached money to help a student pay for his or her higher education, right? Usually. But not always.

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Categories: Income Tax; Personal

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act affects tax planning for education costs 

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act affected several tax provisions related to saving for education costs.

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Categories: Income Tax; Personal

Tips to ensure political contributions are proper 

Political contributions are heavily regulated by the government and can impact public perception. If you are considering donating to a political candidate or organization, ensure that you carefully consider the following five factors before doing so.

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Categories: Income Tax; Personal

The tax treatment of alimony is changing in 2019 

The tax treatment of alimony for divorces filed before and after December 31, 2018 is different.

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Categories: Income Tax; Personal

IRS standard mileage rate for 2019 

The IRS has set the 2019 standard mileage deduction rate for travel related to business, medical, moving and charitable purposes.

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Categories: Income Tax; Personal

Deduction for medical and dental expenses modified in 2018 

The ability to deduct medical and dental expenses in 2018 depends on a taxpayer’s medical and dental expenses relative to the taxpayer’s income.

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Categories: Income Tax; Personal

Market Pulse: December Economic Highlights  

Economic and market highlights from the NP Investment Team for December 2018.

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Categories: Trusts, Fiduciaries & Wealth Management

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